Sunday, December 7, 2008

Basic Chess Library

This is from a discussion on the USCF's Forums.


I agree. You can't go too far wrong with Silman's books. I would add a good game collection book, too. Just to get a feel for master-level chess, if nothing else. My favorite is Understanding Chess Move by Move - by John Nunn.

Here's my problem with book recommendations. I think people recommend and buy too many books - and then they don't read them. It becomes a mountain too high to climb. I think a library should contain the basic 4 books: an opening book, a general theory book, an endgame book, and a game collection. This covers theoretical knowledge. Then a good collection of tactical problems for practice.

One other point: I'm not sure that printed books is the best medium for chess communication going forward into the future. My objections: 1) User-friendly. You have to constantly shift your attention from the printed page to the chess board. 2) Lack of coverage/lack of space issues. Publishing costs prohibit complete coverage of many issues. 3) Cost. Chess books are too thin and too expensive. (I exempt from that criticism the books recommended above.)

I think that software is the medium of the future. Software programs do address the problems of (1) and (2) above. Not 3 yet. The problem here is that software and books are comparable priced and both are too expensive in my opinion.